Tag Archives: sadness

Dancin’ With Lemons

Normally, I’ve tried to be upbeat on my blog, but lately, things have been … well, less than upbeat.

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This is my current FaceBook cover. It’s also the attitude I’ve been trying to maintain, but it hasn’t been easy.

Try as I might, the serious stuff of life keeps creeping in and smashing my good moods to bits. As you can see from the frequency of my latest blog posts, keeping an upbeat blog has not been in the cards. In fact, I find it rather amusing that in my last blog, I “complained,” tongue in cheek, about my lack of readership, then proceeded to kill it off even more by not posting anything since May. Ollie ollie oxen free! Everybody come back now! Oh, well.

So, I’m not very happy that I’m here writing about not being happy. It’s definitely not the way I want my blog posts to read, but lately, it just seems like the world has been pressing down on my shoulders. Despite my bright, cheery, optimistic, Pollyanna, and whatever other rainbow-butted-unicorns-make-me-gag personality traits I might exhibit, I’m sitting here at my computer, trying to put my feelings into words that don’t sound like a funeral dirge, with the thought that it might help me find some balance somewhere in between. No, I’m not depressed. I’m just tired. I know the difference, believe me. And sometimes, a gal just needs to vent.

The headphones are in and some relaxing classical music is on. Classical, I know, right? Surprised me, too. I’ll bet you were thinking that Weird Al was my musical icon. Nope, but I confess to listening to John Mayer one evening last week. I queued him up on YouTube and let that sucker sing his heart out for me. Private concert for one, please. One evening of that was enough, but at least now, I know who John Mayer is. As for this classical stuff, I’m discovering that I’m really not in the mood for it. It’s not that I don’t like classical because I do. But not tonight, or at least not what is playing. 2 Cellos or Celtic Thunder or Piano Guys all would have worked, but I think I’ll go the Christian music path tonight with MercyMe. It’s fast; it’s upbeat; I’ve got God singing in my ear. Well, maybe not God exactly, but close enough.

Of all the musical choices I could have made to lift my spirits, why is it that I always gravitate to Christian/gospel music? It used to be in my younger days that my go-to music was the group America of “Horse With No Name” fame. They have been a favorite of mine since high school. I feel a little like I’m out in that desert and the nameless horse is what I’m feeling right now. I can’t put a finger on it or a name to it. I just know that at some point the desert ends and the horse will go free. In other words, I’ll get through this, but for now, all I can do is hang on for the ride. Not exactly Christian music, but I lurves me a good metaphor. While I could put on America and be perfectly content, I seem to need the Christian content tonight. Sing it, MercyMe.

Gradually, the words are sinking in. Here’s my hope, invading my ears, penetrating my brain, sinking into my heart. “Count it pure joy when the world comes crashin.’ Hold your head up and keep on dancin.’”

Maybe I’ll squish a few lemons and make lemonade while I’m dancing. I’d offer you some, but I’m still looking for the sugar. Don’t worry; it’ll be “Alright.” I’ll find the sweetness again eventually.

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Cubby Holes

I’m sitting here, staring at the cluttered computer screen, as a project awaits completion. I feel like I’m letting down the people to whom I owe this project. I’ve been struggling with it. Normally, it’s not that hard to complete, but for some reason, this month has had its challenges. Personal issues have gotten in the way. I’m not someone who can compartmentalize easily. I wish I was. I’d like to just stick whatever’s bothering me into a cubby hole and let it rot there. Unfortunately, any cubby holes that I have in my brain are more hole than cubby. If I do manage to put a problem in a compartment, it falls right through the hole in the bottom, tripping me whenever I “take a stroll down memory lane.” In other words, I can’t keep things compartmentalized. They stay in my mind, no matter what I’m doing.

Right now, the thing that is stuck there is my mother. I love my mom, but I also live almost 700 miles away from her. I don’t see her much, even though we talk on the phone when she’s feeling up to it. Even if I did make the trip back, there’s simply no place for me to stay at her small house. If she were healthy, I’d either be able to stay on an air mattress in the living room or in her bed with her since my daddy has passed. However, healthy she is not. She has a hospital bed set up in the living room. A good bit of her living room furniture is now in her bedroom on the bed. There is, quite frankly, no room for me at her house.

In some metaphoric way, there’s no room for me in her life anymore, and that about kills me.  She loves me and I love her, but she is no longer concerned about me. Her life revolves around the nurses and care workers from Hospice that come in. I listen patiently. But only on a good day, do I get to share with her what is happening in my life. Am I selfish to want this again? Maybe. Am I realistic enough to know that, for the most part, those days of happy conversations are gone? Yes. Mentally, she is all there, but her world is small now, and I’m on the periphery. Perhaps I’ve started grieving already.

I’ve caught grief from people who see her once and think that they have a handle on the situation. Because I’m not there, I guess in their eyes that makes me not a good daughter, doesn’t it? They don’t understand that I’m well aware of what is happening with her. I’m in frequent contact with my brother, who is her main caregiver. While I get conflicting reports, depending on whether I’m talking to him or my mother, I know and care deeply about her condition and about her. She was the best mother a girl could have. We have always been close.

Perhaps that why this hurts so much. She had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I found out only recently that this was THE diagnosis. I had heard it bandied around for a while, but my brother confirmed it this week. It makes sense. This diagnosis answers a lot of questions, but it also presents a new dilemma for me. How do I keep it in its place without obsessing?

If you ask my mother, she doesn’t believe it. According to her, she will walk again, drive again and resume her normal life after she gets over this little hiccup in her life. Parkinson’s took my wonderful father-in-law. I’ve seen what it can do. I don’t have her optimism, as misguided as it may be, but I can’t take away her vision of her future either. I’m not that cruel to say, “Sorry, Mum, it’s not going to happen,” when maybe it’s that very thought of a normal future that makes her okay with how she is living. So I have to wonder why I’m obsessing over things I can’t change. I do know that I’m not good at hurting; I bleed all over my cubby holes.

I guess it’s time to clean up the mess and get back to work on today’s project. I can at least do something about what’s in front of me, even when I’m feeling so helpless about my mother. I’m having to relearn some lessons from the past about how to deal with this. It’s taken me a while to get there, but thank God for God and keeping my problems where they belong. I’m better for now, at least until the next refresher course.